L-R: Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole; Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr Nteranya Sanginga; and the Director of Policy and Program, World Food Programme, Mr Stanlake Samkange; during the launch of the “Synthesis Report of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review,” in Abuja.

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Nigeria is making gigantic plan to achieve zero hunger by the year 2030 as it launches a strategic plan and roadmap in that regard.

The 60-page “Synthesis Report of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review,” is an articulation of the needs of Nigeria needs for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2)—one of the recently adopted global goals that seeks to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030, a statement issued by the Communication and Knowledge Exchange Expert of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Mr. Godwin Atser disclosed.

The Synthetic Report, developed by the nation’s experts and chaired by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is a reflection of Nigerians’ perspectives on the needed steps that would win the battle against hunger and malnutrition.

“The report would support and encourage the government to implement the policies, strategies, plans, and programs that have been formulated over many years, and to do so with a focus on achieving Zero Hunger by 2030, if not earlier,” Obasanjo said at the launch in Abuja adding that the Report provided a framework that would “unlock the potential of our nation and emancipate our dear country from the shackles of hunger and poverty.”

He noted that the establishment of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum based at IITA, would ensure that recommendations contained in the Report and the individual Subcommittee reports were implemented. “We must do all we can so that this effort does not suffer the fate of previous endeavours,” he stressed.

Obasanjo commended President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review; lauded Ms Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) for funding and request for the review as well as commended the African Development Bank (AfDB) for providing the larger part of the funds.

The Director of Policy and Program at the WFP, Mr Stanlake Samkange commended Nigeria for developing the strategic document, emphasising that the Report was the first in West Africa and would be a guide for other countries to emulate. He reiterated that the task of ending hunger could not be solved by a single organisation.

The Director General of the IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga said the Report was a departure from other previous reports in the sense that it would be backed by immediate actions, adding that “IITA would continue to support states with relevant technologies cutting across crops such as cassava, maize, cowpea, yam, soybean, banana and plantain among others.”

While the inauguration of the Report would be followed with immediate implementation in Benue, Ebonyi, Ogun and Sokoto states this month, eight more states would be added in January 2019 and by 2021, all states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be covered.

Nigeria, with rich agricultural potential, in 2015 endorsed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of efforts to achieve sustainable development in general as well as lift over 13 million people from hunger.

The launch of the Synthesis Report received commendations from the Minister of Health, members of the National Assembly, state governments, United Nations agencies, the African Development Bank and the private sector among others.